- Dean of the Faculty of Law and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
Dean Gillian Lester is a leading authority on employment law and policy, specializing in workplace intellectual property law, contracts, public finance policy, and the design of social insurance laws and regulations.
Dean Lester began her teaching career at UCLA School of Law in 1994 and joined Berkeley Law School as a professor in 2006, serving as interim dean from 2012 to 2014. She has held visiting appointments at Harvard Law School, Georgetown Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of Chicago Law School, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, in Israel.
Dean Lester is the editor of Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (with Hugh Collins and Virginia Mantouvalou), from Oxford University Press, and her widely used casebook, Employment Law: Cases and Materials (with Steven L. Willborn, Stewart J. Schwab and John F. Burton Jr.), is now in its sixth edition. Her journal articles and book chapters include “‘Keep Government Out of My Medicare’: The Elusive Search for Popular Support of Taxes and Social Spending” and “Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design.”
Dean Lester serves on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of New York and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. She also serves on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools and is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI).
The book is an interdisciplinary investigation by lawyers and philosophers into the philosophical ideas, concepts, and principles that provide the foundation for the field of labour law or employment law. The book addresses doubts that have been expressed about whether a worker-protective labour law is needed at all, what should be regarded as the proper scope of the field in the light of developments such as the integration of work and home life by means of technology, the globalisation of the economy, and the precarious kinds of work that thrive in the gig economy.
Paying particular attention to political philosophy and theories of justice, the contributions focus on four themes:
I. Freedom, dignity, and human rights;
II. Distributive justice and exploitation;
III. Workplace democracy and self-determination;
IV. Social inclusion
Columbia Law Dean on How to Train ‘Lawyers of the Future,’ Bloomberg Law, August 11, 2017